Pa. lawmaker calls for update of school bus law

A Pennsylvania legislator is pushing to update a 65-year-old law so more children can ride a bus to school.

Rep. Patty Kim (D-Dauphin) says she’s heard from parents who have children walking to school in dangerous neighborhoods.

She says students are also at higher risk when crossing busy streets, and many parents are not able to drive their children to school.

“There are a lot more challenges today then there were 60 years ago,” Kim said. “I think this will help the modern family.”

Under current law, students in kindergarten to the sixth grade may be required to walk up to 1.5 miles to their assigned bus stop and older students may have to walk up to two miles.

Kim wants the distance reduced to a half-mile.

“Kids are forced to walk because mom and dad are at work or their parents don’t have cars,” she said. “To have a 7-year-old walk one-and-a-half miles to and back from school is ridiculous.”

A Harrisburg grandmother told ABC 27 her 6-year-old grandson must walk 1.2 miles to school every day and must travel through some dangerous and crime-ridden neighborhoods.

The woman said she has four pages of petitions calling for the change.

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